Friday, May 23, 2014

News From Earth's End: Late May Edition

Above: Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen by Dylan Horrocks. Copyright Dylan Horrocks 2014.

It's been a busy time here at Earth's End Central, so today I'm going to cover the recent developments in the NZ comics community over the last few weeks.

VUP has just released a preview of the cover from their forthcoming New Zealand edition of Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen by Dylan Horrocks due for release in November. This will collect the complete story that Horrocks started serialising in Atlas and then later on his website HERESam Zabel and the Magic Pen will also be simultaneously published in the US and Canada from Fantagraphics, and in Europe from Casterman.

Above: Tim Gibson artwork for Wellington brewery Garage Project's latest beers: Umami Monster & MECHA-HOP! Copyright Garage Project 2014.

Two items that seem to go naturally together (well, according to most of the cartoonists I know) are comics...and beer! Moth City creator Tim Gibson has produced the artwork for Garage Project's two latest beers: Umami Monster & MECHA-HOP! Created for competition in the Great Australian Beer SpecTAPular 2014, they will certainly be eye-catching with Gibson's Godzilla inspired labels and advertising artwork! There may even be some mini-comics printed to support this release, so keep an eye out...

Above: Garage Project's award-winning beer, Cockswain’s Courage Double Barreled Porter.

Garage Project also recently won a Silver Medal at the World Beer Cup for Cockswain’s Courage Double Barreled Porter, inspired by Greg Broadmore's Lord Cockswain character ("tastes like war!"), so comics inspired labels may be their lucky charm!

Above: An rough for a advert for the PYE Isotronic Record Player, in comics form by Dick Frizzell. Copyright Dick Frizzell 2014.

Staying in advertising, readers of my book From Earth's End: The Best of New Zealand Comics will know about Dick Frizzell's love of comics and the inspiration he drew from them for his art and advertising work. In the 1970s and 80's, Frizzell produced a number of advertisements in comics form for such products as Everready batteries and Levi's Jeans. He recently uncovered this pencil rough created to advertise the PYE Isotronic FL 1000 Record Player, and generously allowed me to re-post it here. As Dick commented, "I turned my ad work into comics at every available opportunity".

Earlier this month, Wellington City Libraries and comic book store Graphic joined forces to celebrate Free Comic Book Day with the event, Comicfest 2014 - featuring a series of comics related workshops and events. 

Above: Cartoonists talking 'shop', from left: Grant Buist, Robyn E. Kenealy and Ant Sang.

This included two panel discussions at the Wellington City Library. One featuring Ant Sang (The Dharma Punks, Shaolin Burning), Robyn E. Kenealy (Roddy's Film Companion, American Captain) and Grant Buist (Jitterati, Brunswick), that you can listen to HERE.

Above from left: Paul Tobin and Greg Broadmore.

The second was a Q&A with Paul Tobin, editor of the NZ fantasy art book, White Cloud Worlds, and Greg Broadmore, creator of the Dr. Grordbort series, that you can listen to HERE.

Above: One of the Auckland Art Gallery's framed pieces by NZ comics pioneer, Noel Cook, on display for my talk at the Auckland Writers Festival on From Earth's End: The Best of New Zealand Comics.

In the lead up to my appearance at the Auckland Writers Festival to discuss my book and the history of New Zealand comics, I did two insightful interviews that might be of interest: one with Renee Liang from The Big Idea that you can read HERE, and one with Courtney Peters from Gather and Hunt, which you can read HERE. Leading book blogger Graham Beattie also reviewed my talk at the festival on National Radio HERE.

The Dharma Punks Kickstarter is still going strong, having reached it's minimum goal target, we are now pushing to make this collection as high quality and available as possible! We could still use your support, so click over and check out some of our exclusive Kickstarter rewards that will not be available anywhere else!

Now to ease you into the weekend, here's some support videos for The Dharma Punks to watch from fellow cartoonists, Dylan Horrocks and Sarah Laing!

- AK!

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